Gordon Murray’s McLaren F1 Successor Will Rock V12 Engine That’ll Rev to 12K RPM, Manual Gearbox
This three-seater hypercar will be extremely lightweight and have an underbody fan that sucks it onto the ground.
Automotive legend and racing engineer Gordon Murray has reached a near-mythical status thanks to his involvement with projects like the Brabham BT46B and McLaren F1, which are the forerunners of modern hypercars. For various reasons, said McLaren has become one of the world's most sought-after performance cars, and on the rare occasion that an example surfaces for sale, it can easily net eight figures. Now, he's about to release his sequel to the car under his own name, as a hypercar called the T.50.
It won't exist to take records, or to win races; Murray simply intends for the T.50 to be the greatest, most pleasurable road car ever built.
"I have absolutely no interest in chasing records for top speed or acceleration," Murray stated. "Our focus is instead on delivering the purest, most rewarding driving experience of any supercar ever built—but, rest assured, it will be quick."
Based on the specifications for the car that Gordon Murray Automotive released Wednesday, "quick" it'll be indeed. Its engine will be a mid-mounted Cosworth V12 of 3.9 liters in displacement. It was designed to be as light as possible and is made largely from magnesium, titanium, and other featherweight materials. It will also rev to 12,100 rpm, a height unrivaled in any other modern road car. Minimum weight doesn't mean minimum power, though, expect 650 horsepower and 322 pound-feet of torque, with horsepower climbing to over 700 at speed thanks to a ram air intake active. All this flows to the rear wheels via a good 'ol six-speed manual transmission.
At speed is where the rest of the T.50's aero—which Murray says is the most advanced of any road car ever—comes into play. Most of the T.50's bodywork will look clean and aerodynamic, as Murray has crammed all the car's aero tricks underneath. Here, he repurposes the game-changing underbody fan that appeared on his historic Brabham BT46B, meaning that this car produces immense downforce at all speeds, sucking itself to the ground. It's crucial that something holds the T.50 to the earth, as it weighs just 980 kilograms (2,161 pounds), meaning it could blow away in a light gust.
But blowing almost everything else away is what the T.50 will probably do. Its power-to-weight ratio comes in at 663 horsepower per ton, which is greater than the old Bugatti Veyron. And despite the tremendous performance, the T.50 has been purpose-built as a road car, meaning it'll be spacious, efficient, and safe... even though it'll be smaller than a Porsche 911. To Murray, the perfect car is all about lightness.
"This is the key to achieving enhanced performance and dynamics, and refocusing the supercar on the driver and the thrill of driving. We're not interested in simply chasing numbers, and never will be," Murray explained.
Gordon Murray Automotive will build just 100 T.50s at a price exceeding £2 million ($2.5 million), and commence deliveries in 2022.